Patrick Joseph Caden
12 May, 1978 – 26 April, 2021
Survived by: His beautiful daughter, Ayda Grace Gardiner (her mom, Janet and Janet’s sister, Lisa), parents John Patrick and Patrice Michelle Caden, sisters Rheanna (Andy) Robinson and Laura (Shad) Thevenaz, nephews Sean and James Robinson, and niece Audra Thevenaz. Many Caden relatives in Ontario and Alberta and countless friends from Smithers, Prince George, and beyond.
Due to current restrictions, a private funeral service will be held on Saturday May 8, 2021.
Patrick (aka Pat, Bubba, Sajax, Uncle Dat, Dump Bear) was born in New Westminster, BC on May 12, 1978. On that day, he became Patrice Michelle Caden's best-ever Mother’s Day gift, John Patrick Caden's son, and Rheanna's baby brother.
For the first three weeks of Pat's life, he lived in the Lower Mainland before moving to Leduc, Alberta where his dad completed his trades apprenticeships. Pat's family moved back to British Columbia in the early 1980’s so his father could be employed in the resource sector. Pat’s maternal grandparents were devastated to have their only grandchildren move away from the Lower Mainland, but they visited the family often wherever they lived, and Pat dearly loved his grandmother.
Pat welcomed his baby sister, Laura, when he was three years old, and he was happy to have two siblings accompany (and be witness to) his wild adventures during his childhood and adolescent years. After moving around to several different communities in BC, when Pat was five years old, his family settled in Smithers.
There is absolutely no doubt that growing up in the beautiful Bulkley Valley left a significant imprint on his heart and his mind. Raised in a rural setting, Pat always exemplified his love for the outdoors, and a fast paced, daring lifestyle. He took advantage of every (and any) opportunity to participate in outdoor activities, regardless of the season or temperature! He had a natural inclination and talent for sports (such as hockey, skiing, and snowboarding) and loved hiking and hunting with his dad. Pat was able to start working part-time when he was young at Smitty's Restaurant and Safeway as well as the local sawmill before taking a leap at the age of 18 to join the Canadian Armed Forces.
When Pat joined the military his family and friends witnessed a transformation of Pat's push for physical and patriotic excellence. We also saw him yearning to explore and experience more of our amazing world. With honourable discharge, Pat left the military when he was 21 and quickly moved to pursuing other high-risk and physically demanding, occupations.
After working for the BC Forest Service and relocating to Prince George, BC, Pat became a member of the elite North Peace Smoke Jumper crew. He never hesitated sharing pictures with his worrying mother of him jumping out of a plane... He loved smoke jumping and the thrill and intensity of battling fires. Following his forest fire fighting days, Pat eagerly moved into jobs with the energy sector and whether he was diamond drilling, on the pipelines, or oil rigs, Pat held a reputation for physical aptitude, stamina, and strength. He continued his outdoor enthusiasm by sky diving, scuba diving, hunting, and fishing while beginning a slate of travels around the world. It was also during this time of his life that Pat became a cherished uncle and God father to Rheanna (and Andy's) children, Sean and James.
But the most significant celebratory time in Pat's adult life was when Janet gave birth almost thirteen years ago to their baby girl and he became a father to beautiful Ayda. He was mesmerized by her from the day she was born. Ayda adored the dad she could camp, quad, and spend at Grandma or auntie Nana's with. Pat eagerly bought her a pink pellet gun, took her to the archery range, and would humorously tell her to "stand down soldier" whenever she became a little hyper, restless, or grouchy. Ayda was very used to her dad's post-military rhythm of life (including his "army clean" home). Pat was always so proud of Ayda and she was the best companion for him on so many adventures including when they attended his sister Laura's wedding and then to meet his niece after the birth of Laura (and Shad's) daughter, Audra. Pat's love for his daughter was deep, enduring, and eternal. Pat was an amazing and protective uncle, brother, and son who was always there for his family. He was also a true friend to many and eagerly offered to help people with no expectation of anything in return.
About three years ago, Pat’s life was interrupted when he noticed something going on with the strength in his upper body. This is where (and when) his ALS began. When things started to worsen for Pat physically, he withdrew from family and friends, unsure and scared of what was happening to his always strong and able self. He became a master at hiding his illness and when he finally reached out for help, he had already lost all ability to use his arms and hands. He received his devastating diagnosis of ALS in October 2020. Pat’s family and friends immediately came to his side and with love, empathy, and compassion, and assisted him every day with being able to still live his life the way he wanted.
Over the last while, Pat would reminisce about being a child building forts on the acreage he lived on, participating in Beavers and Cubs, playing hockey with his buddies, and working outside with his parents. He reflected extensively on his time as an Infantryman in the military, and how his arms and hands helped him through gruelling and intensive training exercises so he could become a strong and tenacious soldier. He shared so many stories of being a forest fire fighter and a labourer in the most remote and rugged areas of Canada and the world. He cherished his global travels and his breadth of memories and experiences.
But we all knew that for Pat, what meant the most to him, was the time and strength he had to hold his baby girl, play with her, pack her around tirelessly when she was little, and drive her happily through Tim Horton’s so she could get her favourite treat before going to visit Grandma. After being diagnosed with ALS, and even in the face of such tragic adversity, Pat never showed anger about his illness, but as ALS nudged him further out of the driver’s seat of his life, Pat lamented his losses and grieved what was being taken away.
Months ago, Pat felt the weakness growing in his legs and most recently with his ability to breathe. Yet, our Pat held strong with his positive attitude and desire to continue to live life on his own terms. His gratitude for his abundant childhood, his time in the military, his career opportunities, the parts of the world he travelled, all the people he has known, and his adored daughter, her mom, aunties, cousins, and grandparents she will always have, made him feel so lucky for life and the beautiful things it brings. ALS reminded Pat to never take physical ability for granted, the importance of family and friends, and how quickly, without any explanation or warning, our time on earth can be interrupted.
If you knew Pat, he left an imprint on your life and for many, your soul. Just look around... no doubt he built, fixed, or left you something to remember him by. We'll never forget his "Patisms", his infectious smile, his beautiful brown eyes, and his eyebrows that told you everything about how he was thinking or feeling before you could even ask.
A special thank you to all of Pat’s amazing friends and family who supported him during this very challenging time. We thank the medical and health professionals who were part of this tragic ALS journey. Most of all, we thank Pat. We thank him for all he taught us, what he gave us, and the love he shared with each and every one of us in his own way.
We will miss you, Bubba and our lives will never, ever be the same. We hope you are running and basking in the freedom you have found again. Our tears and deep heartache may dissipate, but we will always, always, always love and miss you forever.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to ALS Action Canada at: https://alsactioncanada.org/donate/. ALS is an underfunded and under resourced terminal illness that takes over 1000 Canadian lives every year. Pat’s family, in his honour, will continue to advocate and demand for this to change.
Please join the Caden family on Saturday, May 8th at 1:00pm for the funeral service of Patrick Joseph Caden. Please click on the link below to watch the service live:
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Patrick Joseph Caden
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8 May 2021
Pat compressed a lot into a life that had the clock ticking. A little faster for him than for most. He will always remain a great example for his daughter, as his parents were for him.
8 May 2021
Dear Michelle, John, Rheanna and Laura and families, Ayda and all who knew and loved Pat...I am so grateful for being able to have watched your lovely tribute to Pat. While it would have been so meaningful to have been in the same room...the bonds of knowing and loving Pat are not diminished in these times.
He was and is irreplaceable...I’ll always remember him as a sweet, if mischievous little boy...in fact, I think he was the definition of a little boy. His loving spirit always shone through....a friend and helper to all, a judge to none. May the memory of that spirit comfort and sustain you as you go forward in a world that is now changed but made better because he was part of it. Love to all, Trudy
6 May 2021
My heartfelt condolences to the Caden family in their time of bereavement. It’s a very sad loss indeed. Most sad for Pat who lost everything, and of course sad for his family who dearly loved him. I know it must be particularly sorrowful for his precious daughter Ayda, and for his devoted parents, John & Michelle. I wish I knew the right words to comfort you. Pat was a special man who knew how to “get on with it” in an exuberant and energetic way - his way. Unaware that his time would be short, he magnificently accomplished a lot in a compressed amount of time. He was heartened by his beloved family rallying around him with loving support as he coped with ALS. My deepest sympathy to All.
6 May 2021
Our hearts break for your loss. When I read the beautiful obituary it moved me to tears. He packed so much into his short life and has left thousands of memories. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. We were neighbors of the Caden family in Smithers. Earl remembers that a very young Pat and his friends built a fort in the back yard. Unfortunately they had “borrowed “ the materials. His Father,John, made him disassemble the fort and return the wood to the rightful owner. That life lesson helped him to become a man of noble character. John and Michelle, you raised a great son and he was a gift to the world.
5 May 2021
Where to begin. Growing up in Smithers, was a special thing. Part of a community that feels so close. So close in fact, that as my family moved out of my early child hood home, Pat moved into it, with the whole Caden clan. This connection only became a small part of the relationships I was privileged to have with Pat and his family.
Later in life becoming best friends with Rheanna, and attending her wedding in Vegas, and Greenville, and even part of her labour with Sean. Pat dated my sister and was present in so many of my memories. Some of my most joyful include Pat and I breaking my couch when an impromptu wrestling match broke out-this was all too normal for us-to which Pat of course insisted on fixing. Fixed it so good, with a 1/2 inch steel metal plate, that many many toes were injured on, always making me think of Pat. Or when he helped me fix the huge hole in the drywall-in the shape of Andy. Yet another wrestling moment.
I will never forget how Pat communicated with his eyebrows, always made me smile. His soul touched mine and I will be forever great full. I love you Pat. You are forever in my heart and my memories.
5 May 2021
Keep your precious memories close to your heart, Ayda.
My deepest sympathy to you, your mother Janet and Auntie Lisa as well as all your Caden family for the loss of your Dad. Love and hugs... Aunt Maggie
Samantha Bayes Lloyd
4 May 2021
Pat, you were an amazing soul who never lost your sense of humor. Even when you were sick, you still made us laugh and I will forever remember the visit at your house in January with Travis and Andy and Andy's Ethan Hawke comment (he meant Stephen Hawkins :p).
I also remember you as Travis's best friend when you guys were young, and in turn another little brother I never knew I needed. The shenanigans the two of you got into that we knew about and I don't want to know about the ones we didn't.
I hope that where ever you are, you are free to run, climb, ride, jump, and be wild. You will be missed greatly, and my heart breaks for your family, my brother, and all of your friends and there were many!!!
3 May 2021
So sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved son, Patrick. We lost my brother, Kevin, to ALS in 2018, so feel your pain. Please accept our condolences in your time of grief. Patrick was loved and will be remembered well. God rest his soul.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Deanie (Monica's daughter) and Garry Armstrong and Family.
3 May 2021
MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY I KNOW THE HEARTACHE INVOLVED FROM KEVIN WILSON MY YOUNGER BROTHER TERRY HOLLAND
3 May 2021
Wish we knew this wonderful son of my cousin John and his lovely wife Michelle. Surely our son Patrick Caden, b 1980, will carry on the legacy of this precious family name.
Our heartfelt condolences to both your family and all of Eugene and Lillian's family, from Paul, Patrick, Marie-Eve Caden and Françoise Doyon.